Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.

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Home » Recent News » Festival Brings Free Live Music to Denton


Festival Brings Free Live Music to Denton

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At the end of April, the Music Performance Trust Fund (MPTF), the Film Funds Trust Fund, and Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX) helped Denton, Texas, celebrate its arts community at the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival. This free public event features around 3,000 performers and attracts more than 200,000 attendees annually. All of the musicians paid to perform at the event are union members.

This year’s acts included Dr. John, a member of Locals 174-496 (New Orleans, LA) and 802 (New York City); the University of North Texas Faculty Jazz Ensemble, members of Local 72-147; and Denton’s own Brave Combo, also members of Local 72-147.

Because Denton is AFM President Ray Hair’s home town, each year he rolls up his sleeves and heads to Texas to help run the event over the entire three days. It’s a chance for him to interact and connect with member musicians in their community.

“We started the event as DentonJazzfest 30 years ago, on a Sunday afternoon, on a flatbed trailer, in the park, with Brave Combo and the UNT Jazz Faculty, all sponsored by MPTF and former Fort Worth Local 72,” says AFM President Ray Hair. “Each year, it became more popular and eventually morphed into Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, attracting hundreds of thousands of festivalgoers.”

This year AFM Freelance Services Membership Development Director Paul Sharpe also attended. Sharpe interacted with performing musicians, discussing musician issues and needs and answering questions at the grass-roots level. He also collected a wealth of video commentary about the union from its members.

For the first time, MPTF Trustee Dan Beck and Film Funds Trustee Robert Jaffe visited the event.

“What impressed me most was the spirit of joy and participation, not only among the performers, but among the attendees as well,” says Jaffe. “Despite some unpredictable, and sometimes downright inclement weather, the attendance was great, the music was outstanding, and the crowds were unbelievably responsive.”

“The festival’s impact on the entire Denton community was visibly evident. Beyond the free public performances of celebrity talent, the extraordinary participation of music students at all age levels was impressive and every bit of what the MPTF advocates,” concludes Beck.

Dr. John the Night Tripper, a member of Local 174-496 (New Orleans, LA) headlined the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival

Dr. John the Night Tripper, a member of Local 174-496 (New Orleans, LA) headlined the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival

AFM President Ray Hair (center) at Denton Arts & Jazz Festival with MPTF Trustee Dan Beck (left) and Film Funds Trustee Robert Jaffe.

AFM President Ray Hair (center) at Denton Arts & Jazz Festival with MPTF Trustee Dan Beck (left) and Film Funds Trustee Robert Jaffe.

Local 72-147 member Jordache Grant performed with the Mark Harper Project.

Local 72-147 member Jordache Grant performed with the Mark Harper Project.

Bassist Drew Phelps performed with his sons, Garrett (pictured) and Nathan; all three are members of Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX).

Bassist Drew Phelps performed with his sons, Garrett (pictured) and Nathan; all three are members of Local 72-147 (Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX).







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